2007 Kawasaki Versys
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At Kawasaki, we know that no stretch of road has ever been ridden the same way twice.
Choice of line, angle of corner approach and exit, nuance of brake and throttle, weight
transfer, rhythm and timing - just some of the personal signatures of each and every ride.
For enthusiasts, and particularly for Kawasaki riders, at the very heart of motorcycling
lies the singular enjoyment of the ride - not merely negotiating riding conditions, but
revelling in them. Like a surfer on a wave, we make each ride our own.
With the Versys we set out to create a motorcycle that would empower riders to explore
fully their individual riding style and find true inspiration on all types of road, in or out of
town. Riders who have experienced a wide range of riding conditions and already know
plenty about how they like to ride will be very excited by what the Versys has to offer - an
added dimension of ride controllability.
We wanted the Versys rider to be able more than ever to take charge of their riding
experience. So the suspension settings and riding position of the Versys are specifically
designed to respond to weight transfer decisions by the rider, particularly adjustments to
forward-rear balance while in motion.
Rider-machine synchronicity has always been a prime Kawasaki design consideration,
and to enhance rider feeling on the Versys we paid special attention to optimising
feedback; in fact, the Versys could well be the most communicative bike you will ever
ride. Completing the package is an engine tuned to respond to your command at any
rpm, especially down low, so you're never left short when you want power on the ground.
With the distinctive handling characteristics of the Versys, riders will find that they really
can call the shots, nailing their chosen line with ease or altering their track with equal
aplomb, even mid-corner. And with a set up devised to complement riders' personal
technique and natural instincts, striking a great riding rhythm - be it perfectly stringing
together a series of tight bends or moving effortlessly through traffic - quickly emerges
as a definitive characteristic of the Versys ride.
Dynamic ride control to enhance your riding experience - that's the any-street promise
of the new Versys.
Designed for the discerning enthusiast, the Versys' riding position, engine
characteristics, chassis balance and suspension settings were all selected to maximise
rider exhilaration on the street. With its superb control and feedback, in the Versys,
Kawasaki engineers are satisfied that they have achieved a model that offers a high
level of rider confidence in numerous street riding situations and accommodates a
variety of riding styles.
Long-travel suspension & 17" wheels
The combination of long-travel suspension with stiff spring settings is one of the keys to
the active control offered by the Versys. In addition to being easily able to cope with a
variety of road conditions and offering confidence-inspiring feedback to the rider, the
Versys allows riders to consciously control the bike's forward-rear weight balance -
adding a new dimension of controllability for riders to explore.
Slim, upright riding position
A slim, upright riding position with wide handlebars offers both a naturally relaxed
posture and great controllability, and allows riders to experiment with a number of riding
styles. Whether riding in the hills or navigating city traffic, the clear, unobstructed view
afforded by the tall seat height and upright position make it easy to see and avoid
potential problems on the road ahead.
Compact Parallel-Twin engine tuned for low-mid range torque
A compact Parallel Twin engine tuned for low-mid range torque delivers a satisfying
surge of acceleration from starts and out of corners. The controlled response of the
carefully tuned engine offers riders the confidence to get on the gas at any rpm.
Sleek, flickable chassis
From long sweepers to tight twisties, the Versys' combination of quick steering and
dynamic stability lets riders handle corners with ease. The high level of feedback
offered by the chassis and suspension settings clearly communicates the bike's limits to
the rider. Although the Versys' performance was optimised for 80-120 km/h range, its
dynamic stability ensures that it is equally happy at higher speeds.
Wind and weather protection from the adjustable windscreen is excellent, making jaunts
on the highway stress-free.
A reinforced sub-frame and genuine accessories that include large-volume panniers
means necessities when touring are easily accommodated.
A well-cushioned pillion seat and naturally located grab bars ensure good comfort levels
for a passenger. The slim chassis and under-engine muffler also contribute to the
passenger's relaxed, heat-free riding position.
Long-travel Suspension & 17" wheels
Not all streets in the real world are made of circuit-smooth pavement. Road
imperfections (bumps, potholes) are far from rare, and some streets are not even paved
(such as cobblestone, etc). While the Versys was not designed for off-road use, its
long-travel front fork and rear shock were specially selected to cope with any street
conditions it may come across, and, along with its 17" wheels, enable aggressive sport
riding. Further, the long-travel suspension provides an added dimension of
controllability: the ability to consciously control the bike's front-rear weight transfer gives
riders an additional riding element to explore.
The long stroke of the inverted front fork and off-set laydown rear shock (F: 150
mm, R: 52 mm) allow experienced riders to actively control the bike's front-rear
weight balance. Purposely increasing braking force to compress the front
suspension before a corner reduces the caster, resulting in quicker steering.
Alternatively, the rider can opt to brake less aggressively, maintaining the bike's
attitude for smooth, stable turn in. The Versys puts this choice in the hands of the
rider, so even the same corner can be enjoyed a number of different ways.
Both the front fork and rear shock combine long travel with stiff springs. Standard
off-road-style long-travel suspension allows a bike to fly over bumps and ruts with
ease, but this type of suspension was deemed to be too mushy for the kind of
riding we wanted to offer. Likewise with sport bike suspension, road holding is
superb, but performance is best on (relatively) smooth roads. Combining both
long travel and stiff springs yields the benefits of both off-road-style and sportbike
suspension, offering excellent road holding in a wide range of street riding
conditions and superb feedback, enabling aggressive sport riding.
In addition to being tapered, the outer tubes of the 41 mm inverted front fork are
relatively short (even at full compression, a large portion of the inner tubes remain
visible) to provide the ideal stiffness balance to complement chassis settings.
In order to accommodate the longer stroke of the rear suspension, an aluminium
gull-type swingarm was chosen. The use of aluminium helps reduce unsprung
In addition to being lighter, using a simple non-link type rear shock offers more
direct feedback from the rear wheel, contributing to greater rider "feel." The
excellent feedback clearly communicates the bike's limits, increasing rider
The ability of the rear suspension to soak up bumps and ruts was the key to being
able to ride over cobblestone streets and handle road imperfections like rocks
and potholes, etc. Consequently, a great deal of development time was also
devoted to the tuning of the Showa rear shock unit. The high-grade unit makes
use of a free piston and 2-stage damping valves to ensure smooth action at the
initial part of the compression stroke and firmer damping near full compression,
giving a more planted feel.
This careful attention to the tuning of the rear suspension ensures the Versys can
be ridden aggressively and with confidence through city streets, be they paved,
brick or cobblestone.
Both the front and rear suspension have adjustable rebound damping and
preload. Along with a fork height adjustable by 8 mm, they offer riders a range of
adjustability to experiment with should they so choose.
17" wheels front and rear contribute to the bike's quick steering. A 110 mm front
tyre was considered, but in the end a 120 mm tyre was deemed to offer a better
balance of quick steering and front wheel traction. Tyre sizes are as follows:
Front: 120/60ZR17M/C 58W
Rear: 160/60ZR17M/C 69W
Slim, Upright Riding Position
When engineers considered the kind of riding they wanted to offer, and the speed range
most often used in everyday riding (80-120 km/h), a naturally relaxed posture and high
controllability care of a slim, upright position with wide handlebars was deemed ideal.
Because it would have a great impact on rider control and enjoyment, a substantial
amount of development time and effort was devoted to fine-tuning the riding position.
The combination of a compact Parallel Twin engine and a narrow, lightweight
trellis frame enabled by an offset laydown suspension is the key to the Versys'
slim riding position.
A short-style tank positions the rider closer to the front wheel for increased
controllability and offers a greater choice of forward-rearward sitting positions.
The seat's slim design and the knee grip characteristics of the tank afford good
freedom of movement, allowing the riders to change sitting position should they
so choose. Thicker urethane increases comfort and contributes to a seat height
that places the rider in a position of fun controllability. The stepped shape of the
two-piece seat also provides support for the rider when accelerating.
Complementing the wide handlebar, the footpegs are positioned low and slightly
forward of the seat. Wide, rubber covered footpegs help reduce unwanted
vibration and offer increased freedom of mobility.
Together, all these points result in a very natural, relaxed position designed to
offer the rider a high level of machine control. The upright riding position
accommodates a variety of riding styles (lean-in, no-lean, lean-out), broadening
the spectrum of riding enjoyment and also offers a high level of comfort, a great
benefit for touring. This combination of comfort and control is one of the things
that makes the Versys so much fun to ride.
When combined with the long-stroke suspension, the upright riding position and
higher seat height offer a commanding view of the road ahead - especially
advantageous when navigating city traffic or winding roads in the hills.
Compact Parallel-Twin Engine Tuned For Low-Mid Range Torque
When tuning the 649 cm3 Parallel Twin engine, our engineers' first priority was to find a
throttle response that balanced a powerful feeling and a quick-revving character. To
optimise performance for everyday riding (most of which takes place in and around the 80-120 km/h range), care was taken to maximise low-mid range torque. When opening
the throttle, riders will notice that the engineers succeeded in creating an extremely
smooth and powerful engine character that offers both a high level of control when
making minute throttle adjustments and a gratifying rush of acceleration in the lower rpm
Intake and exhaust cams with short operating angles move the torque curve
toward the lower end of the rpm range.
To achieve smooth power and torque curves, the exhaust system makes use of a
Fuel injection settings for the Versys were selected primarily to deliver a strong
powerful feeling when the throttle is opened.
Performance and feel were optimised for the mid-range (3,000-6,000 rpm).
However, in the low-rpm range (below 3,000 rpm), power delivery is very smooth,
and even above 6,000 power and torque curves continue on without dropping off
The above settings result in a performance that favours speeds most used in
everyday riding: the range in and around 80-120 km/h. Corner pick-up is
excellent: the powerful mid-range delivers a satisfying surge of acceleration and
the flat, step-free torque curve and smooth engine response let riders open the
throttle with confidence - at any rpm.
Sleek, Flickable Chassis
The key to the Versys' sleek chassis is its compact Parallel Twin engine, which allows
the use of a slim, lightweight frame. Together with the forward-located seat position and
the under-engine muffler, this engine-frame combination delivers a highly centralised
mass distribution, which contributes to the highly agile package. High priority was given
to achieving chassis settings that deliver a high level of feedback, better enabling the
rider to recognise the bike's limits.
The base frame construction and stiffness balance were set to offer a high level of
feedback to the rider.
The highly compact engine and under-engine muffler contribute to mass
centralisation. The front cowl (including instrument panel and headlight unit) is
mounted directly to the frame, minimising its effect on handling.
The bike's tall seat height and long-stroke suspension result in a higher CG. The
resultant increase in agility makes the Versys even more fun to control.
Chassis dimensions provide a balance of flickability and high-speed stability.
(Although the Versys' performance is optimised for the 80-120 km/h speed range,
it is quite happy to oblige riders who wish to travel at higher speeds.) With a
wheelbase of 1,415 mm, the Versys can still be considered a "short wheelbase"
model, and accordingly it delivers a high level of agility.
Other Control-Enhancing Features
Triple petal disc brakes offer superb stopping power and feel at the lever. 5 mm
thick front discs contribute to enhanced controllability.
For additional braking reassurance, models with front and rear Bosche ABS are
available in some markets.
An adjustable windscreen helps reduce wind noise and helmet buffeting, creating a
serene space behind which to enjoy high-speed riding.
The adjustable windscreen has three different settings (each 20 mm apart),
allowing riders to tailor its height to suit their preferences. (Adjustment is via a 4
mm hexagonal wrench.)
A tall screen is also available as an option.
For riders who prefer longer excursions, a comfortable seat, relaxed riding position,
large-volume fuel tank, protection from the adjustable windscreen and enhanced touring
potential make the Versys a very capable touring partner. A number of optional
accessories further increase the Versys' touring potential.
Along with the comfortable seat, the relaxed position enables rider to spend long
hours in the saddle.
A 19-litre fuel tank combined with excellent fuel economy offers an ample touring
In addition to the optional top-case, specially designed large-volume GIVI
panniers are available as options. Each pannier can hold a full-face helmet and
is rated for 5 kg (like the top case).
Passenger footpeg stays and the reinforced sub-frame were designed to
accommodate the optional panniers and top case. The sub-frame's additional
strength contributes to increased stability when carrying luggage or a passenger.
Thanks to the under-engine muffler, the bike's profile can stay relatively slim even
with the panniers attached.
Pillion footpeg stays and grab bars can double as tie-down points for securing
Sometimes sharing the ride is half the fun. The Versys has a number of features that
make tandem riding enjoyable for both rider and pillion.
Each part of the two-piece seat was designed with different thickness and
firmness of urethane, optimising comfort for both the rider and passenger.
Pillion position was also designed to offer a natural seating position. Pillion grab
bars are located in a natural position, further increasing passenger comfort.
The comfort afforded by the slim layout (possible thanks to the under-engine
muffler) also extends to the passenger. A further benefit is that heat is kept away
from the passenger.
Layout is such that a passenger can also be comfortably accommodated when
the optional panniers are attached.
Triangular layout of the crankshaft and transmission shafts makes the engine very
Transmission input shaft, output shaft and change drum are contained in a
"cassette"-style package that both allows a compact layout and facilitates
transmission maintenance chores.
Semi-dry sump design reduces engine height.
Plated, linerless cylinder is lightweight, and the narrow cylinder pitch reduces
Auto-fast idle system simplifies starting and ensures the catalyser reaches
optimum temperature quickly.
Simplified cooling system routes coolant through the engine cases to the cylinder
and head to reduce external plumbing.
180° crankshaft drives a balancer shaft for silky smooth engine operation.
Oil jets located in the rod big-ends direct oil to the undersides of the pistons for
With the large radiator and under-engine muffler, the Versys offers superior
comfort from a heat dissipation perspective.
All-new instrument panel features white LED-backlighting for increased visibility
at night. Features include a digital speedometer, analogue-style tachometer,
digital fuel gauge, odometer, dual trip meter, etc.
The stacked dual headlight with dual position lamps on the left and right gives the
Versys a unique face. On low-beam setting only the upper lamp is lit; both lamps
light up on high-beam setting.
Compact turning indicators complement the Versys slim chassis.
LED taillight with a clear lens gives the tail a clean, tidy look.
Under-seat storage space has room for a U-lock or similar device.
The turn signals also function as hazard lights.
Candy Burnt Orange
Suspension - Front: 41 mm inverted telescopic fork with stepless (right-side) adjustable rebound damping and adjustable preload, Rear: Offset laydown single-shock with 13-way adjustable rebound damping and 7-way adjustable preload
Brakes - Front: Caliper Dual semi-floating 300 mm petal discs, Dual piston, Rear: Caliper, Single 220 mm petal disc,
Overall length - 2,125 mm
Overall width - 840 mm
Overall height - 1,315 mm
Wheelbase - 1,415 mm
Ground clearance - 180 mm
Seat height - 840 mm
Dry weight - 181 kg
Fuel capacity - 19 litres
The specifications mentioned here apply to and have been achieved by production models under
standard operating conditions. We intend only to give a fair description of the vehicle and its performance
capabilities but these specifications may not apply to every machine supplied for sale. Kawasaki Heavy
Industries, Ltd. reserves the right to alter specifications without prior notice. Equipment illustrated and
specifications may vary to meet individual markets. Available colours may vary by market.